Delores (Johnson) Kruger passed away on December 30, 2021. Delores was better known as either Mom, Grandma or Dode. Mom was born on August 24, 1930 in Glenwood, MN to Theodore and Anna (Truan) Johnson. As a child, she loved singing, roller-skating, dancing and being with friends. After graduating from Glenwood High School, she married Harvey Kruger. They had just celebrated their 30th anniversary when Harvey passed away in 1978. They had 6 children: Sheila, David and wife Helen, Valerie and husband Tim Doherty, Rick and wife Marcia, Gary and wife Elena, and Hope and husband Jon Smith. She was preceded in death by her parents, 9 siblings, husband, and son, Rick. She is survived by over 50 grandchildren, great grandchildren and great-great grandchildren, as well as her sister-in-law, June Johnson, brother-in-law Howard Kruger and wife Delores, and many nieces and nephews.
After 30 years as a homemaker, she entered the workforce in the manufacturing field when our father passed away and worked at Nortronics and Fingerhut, where she made lifelong friends. She took great pride in always arriving on time and doing the highest quality work.
Mom lived a full life, filled with joy, forgiveness and love. People always commented on how positive and happy she was. She had a wonderful sense of humor and loved to laugh. She looked for the good in people and did not have an unkind word to say about anyone. Although she was 91, she lived independently and, until recently, drove herself wherever she wanted. Due to covid concerns, as well as needing the use of a walker, she didn’t get out as much these past couple of years as she had before.
Her greatest joy came from her family. She enjoyed getting phone and FaceTime calls from her children and grandchildren. Some of the littlest ones called her “Grandma Cloover,” which delighted her. There was not a day that went by without her receiving calls because some of her children made it a practice to call her every day. If she had not heard from someone in a while, she would reach out to them to keep the connections strong. She documented her days, including calls and visits, meals and her health.
Another great passion was playing Bingo, especially at Mystic Lake. With her incredible energy, she would quickly walk the considerable distance from the entrance to the Bingo hall, saying how she liked to take “long strides”. It seemed like everyone knew her there. She often said that the joy wasn’t in receiving the winnings, it was in yelling out “Bingo!” She also enjoyed playing Bingo with family members and would make sure everyone was quiet and concentrating on their cards while numbers were called. Recently, she even joined in with versions of virtual Bingo.
She enjoyed sitting in her recliner and watching her favorite shows, which included Perry Mason, Murder She Wrote, Dancing with the Stars, Jeopardy and Concentration. Some of the episodes were very old and she had seen them before, but she still enjoyed them, saying, “They are all new to me!”
Animals adored Mom. She raised several dogs during her lifetime, and her most recent beloved pet was Kiki, her cat.
Her self-restraint was amazing. She was on a low-salt and low-sugar regimen, which she followed religiously. Nut Goodies and Mr. Goodbars were her favorite treats, but she would limit herself to one bite daily. Folger’s coffee was part of her entire adult life – she never missed a day without her Folger’s.
We all loved Mom’s habit of wearing a light, silky scarf. Even in winter, when it likely provided very little warmth, she would wear that scarf. Her grandchildren liked to take pictures of themselves or their children wearing scarves and send them to her. She was not a prideful person, but she did love it when people, even complete strangers, would comment on her beautiful white hair. Except for lipstick, she never wore makeup, but she did make sure that her hair always looked good.
In 2018, we interviewed Mom and asked a lot of questions about her life. During that video, she was asked what she would have done differently in her life. Her answer, “Not a thing. I have no regrets about anything.” And her advice to her family, “Just be good.”
Mom will be immensely missed. May we all live a life as full of love and joy as Mom’s. She would want that for us.
A private graveside service will be held on January 4, 2022 at the Glenwood Cemetery. A Celebration of Life will be held later this year.
To send flowers to Delores' family, please visit our floral store.